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Russia withdraws from $1 billion contest to provide helicopters to ICG

Russia has withdrawn from a competition worth $1 billion to supply twin-engine helicopters to the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). Now, India only has a single vendor as there is no participation by the United States either. 

As per sources, the procurement process which is underway for the new twin-engine heavy helicopters for the ICG now just has Airbus as the single vendor.  

The Indian Coast Guard has a requirement of 14 new helicopters for several offshore security and surveillance actions. The ICG has been consistently trying to acquire the helicopters since 2012 but previous attempts have not been devised as per the requirement due to technical and commercial reasons. 

The current competition to supply helicopters to India started in June 2021 and Russia offered its Kamov KA 32A11M and Spanish aviation giant Airbus offering its H225M helicopter. In the last contest, the Airbus helicopter had been selected before the process was suspended in 2018.  

The ICG is presently using ageing Chetaks and indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters for patrolling, search, and rescue and casualty evacuation. 

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